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May 5, 2010

Cliché after cliché has been written about time. Time heals all wounds. Time passes so quickly. Time after time…and the list goes on.

The other day, I took my oldest son to get a haircut.  He was starting to look like a rockstar, and he likes getting haircuts, so we headed out and the stylist gave him a buzz cut for the hot summer months. As the hair fell off to the side and his face was revealed, I felt my heart literally jump out of my chest.

                He was getting older.

                His normal apple cheeks had thinned. His best asset was always his eyes, huge, chocolate brown with eyelashes any woman would be jealous of. Now those eyes dominated his older face and took on a different quality. The mischievous glint that always gleamed there danced in the light of the salon. I noticed he was much taller than the last time he sat on the chair, and he conversed with the stylist in a grown up manner.

                He was changing. Right before my eyes, on a daily basis, my first born baby was growing up.  Five years had passed like lightning – a blink of the eye – a moment in time. I remember thinking to myself: I hope I didn’t miss out on too much while he grew. I hope I didn’t wish away his age under the physical and mental exhaustion that is part of a being a mother in 2010.  And then I calmed because I knew, deep in my heart, that I had truly been there.

                Each moment of parenthood and life makes up the whole journey. And I had long way to go to witness many more moments. But I do remember…laughing at each disaster that occurred, and loving him in the best way I could day by day. I remember reminding myself that one day my son won’t be wanting to spend every moment with me, or kiss me openly, or hold my hand or snuggle and say “I love you.” A different time will be unearthed, and I will be truly there for that also.

                A little of my heart broke at that moment in the salon. It was a life changing revelation, and I was a little sad along with being proud.  This reminds me so much of my writing journey. In the beginning, my manuscripts were pure raw passion – unformed pieces that flew off the page and made me feel alive. As time passed, my thoughts and writing evolved and changed based on my age, experience, and journey.  They deepened in a way and I could only go onward, not back. I could never write like I once did because I was a different person. But I could accept the changes and make them the best they could – use the experience to forge something new.  I thought once I was published it would be so much easier to get published again, yet here I am five years later, still struggling to break back into the market, and write something for me and something that fits – the perfect blend that every writer struggles for.  I love my writing now, but it’s harder. Sometimes, I think I know too much, and it’s easier to get waylaid on the details rather than just hit the seat and fly.  Sort of like parenthood; and growing up.

                Children and writing are the two cornerstones in my world right now. My passion and devotion to them will make a mark on this world in my own way. Natalie Goldberg said it best, in her fantastic book, Writing Down the Bones:

                “Our lives are at once ordinary and mythical. We live and die, age beautifully or full of wrinkles. We wake in the morning, buy yellow cheese, and hope we have enough money to pay for it. At the same instant we have these magnificent hearts that pump through all sorrow and all winters we are alive on the earth. We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before us. Our details are important. Otherwise, if they are not, we can drop a bomb and it doesn’t matter “  

We all buy yellow cheese, don’t we? And we all want to mark our place. Words on the page scream:: I WAS HERE. I lived and mattered and loved. Children do the same. Mistakes get made in both writing and parenthood, but as long as passion and good intentions are present, all of it will matter in the end.

Pay attention. If you pay attention to your writing – wherever you are and whatever you write – you will not be wasting precious time. Same thing for the kids – be in every crazy wonderful moment and you will never have any regrets as time marches on.

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  1. Terri says:

    Very nice, Bad Mommy. I’m sorta misty now. (Or maybe it’s because of Sun & Jin.)

    This is so well done.

  2. Liz says:

    Great post jen and so true. Enjoy your sons. Mine just moved back home and couldn’t be happier.he even goes to the gym with his aged mother.

  3. Jennifer, Haircuts and children are such a trip for a mom. Rember leaving my two year with a mass of ash blond curls with my father for the day and coming home to a son with a crew cut and a bag of curls for Mommy. Your article reminded me of that traumatic day. Janet

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